Dancing in a city in the sky September 2, 2009Posted by tracybarnett in : Indigenous culture, New Mexico , trackback
ACOMA PUEBLO, N.M. — Today I’m preparing for a glimpse into the past, a day when the ancestors dance with the living in a village in the sky.
It’s San Esteban’s Feast Day at Acoma Pueblo, a village that vies with Taos Pueblo for the distinction of being the oldest continually inhabited village in the United States. Also called Sky City, this pueblo sits atop a mesa as it has for a thousand years. This was one of the so-called Seven Cities of Gold that Coronado found in his trek across these lands; historians speculate it was the mica windows glinting in the sun that gave the Spaniard the idea that the inhabitants were harboring a wealth of gold, but their only wealth lay in their rich traditions.
Yesterday we toured the village and the beautiful the Sky City Cultural Center at its base. Award-winning Acoma potters Lee and Florinda Villo gave us a demonstration of their work, and we dined with Chef Lawrence “Jay” Riley at the Yaaka Cafe, where he prepares the native dishes of his childhood but with a chefly flair.
Today we won’t be able to take our cameras because of the sacred nature of the event we’re about to see. But here’s a glimpse of the cultural center and Acoma Pueblo, the village in the sky. (check back later for captions – now I have to run!)